Chapter 23
A Fluency Summary
Learning Objectives
• Discuss how being Fluent affects your
ability to remember IT details and ideas
• Discuss lifelong IT learning through finding
new uses, asking for help, and noticing
new technology
• Discuss the benefits of achieving Fluency
now and in the future
Information Structuring
• Remember collections of information are
structured hierarchically
– Organized by descriptive metadata into
groups and subgroups
– Assists in locating specific items
• Specifying structure is as essential as
specifying content
Information Structuring
• Value of information depends on how
effectively it can be used!
• How will YOU collect and store YOUR
digital information?
– What will its structure be?
– How will it be organized?
– The computer won’t know the structure…but
YOU will!
Strategies for Nonalgorithmic
• What guidelines will you have or use as
you move forward?
• What steps will you take for a rational
approach to a task?
• Precision and the directed application of
logical reasoning can solve problems
great and small, algorithmic and
Fluency: Less is More
• Fluency knowledge is compartmentalized
into three components:
1. Skills—competency with contemporary IT
applications like word processing
2. Concepts—understanding the foundations
on which computing is built
3. Capabilities—facility with higher-level
thinking processes like reasoning
• These components co-equal and
1. Skills
• The skills all require much detailed
• The computer demands that we are
exactly right; it is unforgiving!
• We can’t use computers without knowing
such facts, or researching about them
2. Concepts
• The concepts might be quite detailed, but
the “basic ideas” are not
• Computing concepts are like other
scientific information
– Ideas must be explained in full to be
understood; but after they’re learned, only the
ideas themselves, not the particulars, are
important for the non-specialist
3. Capabilities
• The capabilities are the least detailed of all
• Capabilities are mainly approaches to
• Capabilities require you to remember
almost no detail whatsoever!
Moving Forward…
• Thinking abstractly about technology
implies an adaptive approach to learning
• Don’t memorize the tool’s details, learn
details as you need them
Lifelong IT Learning
• Information technology learning is a
process of lifelong learning
• To learn computing throughout life
requires three activities:
1. Pursue new IT uses that fulfill your personal
2. Be rational about asking for help
3. Notice new ideas and technology as they
1. Pursuing New Uses
• Learning becomes easier the more you
• Learn IT on your own
• When engaged in information processing
tasks, determine whether you should use
IT to help you
2. Asking for Help
• You are becoming or have become a selfreliant computer and information user
• But, we all still need expert help
• You can troubleshoot some of your
problems, but we may need assistance
– If you figure it out, you’ve become more
experienced at troubleshooting
– If someone else helps, you may learn
some new facts or skills
3. Noticing New Technology
• To learn about and apply the upcoming
advances requires YOUR attention
– Is it real or just hype?
• Be willing to learn about it
• Adopt a technology as soon as there’s a
high probability that it will assist you, but
expect the technology to continue to
Shifting for Yourself
• Fluency enables us, the users, to shift
• For technology users, the ability to
manipulate the levers of IT is not an ability
to deplore
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